The Author

Frank Castelli was born in New York City and currently resides in Northern Virginia.

He earned his BSBA from John Carroll University, and went on to spend 46 years working in the insurance industry, where he often did public speaking about the psychology of selling and managing managers. He and his wife have two children.

The Book

In this highly personal memoir, Frank Castelli presents an antidote to the corporate Kool-Aid. He reflects on his life, his career, his shortcomings, and his successes, offering readers principles, pearls of wisdom, alternative behavior, and ways to achieve both professional and personal goals.

This book is about sharing a lifetime of experiences that molded him into the person he became. He hopes his story will be informative, inspirational and motivational for readers, and that sharing his journey will allow them to view their own experiences a little differently and help make sense of what might be happening in their lives.


The Moving Words Review:

A poor boy of Italian descent, living in the Bronx in the 1960s. What were the chances he was going to succeed in life? Leave it to Francis A. Castelli, the protagonist of this autobiography, to give you the answer in his book Just Show Up, which he subtitles as the Antidote to Corporate Kool Aid – and it is precisely that!

When I started reading Francis’s words, I was immediately hooked by the promise of wisdom put in simple yet meaningful words that were framed by the solid foundations of Christianity and family. The beginning of his tale has a very biographical tone, but he didn’t fill it with an almanac of dates and descriptions. No. His focus on his own experiences intended to show me as a reader some defining moments in his life that shaped him to be the man he is: a family man of a successful career that discovered one of the truths in life: happiness is in the little, often priceless things. One particular event he brings up struck a chord on me: when his 3-year-old child reflected on something that made Francis see exactly what he should value, instead of the path that others had set upon him.

It surprised me that the author didn’t choose to use his background as a self-pity tool, as we often see in many books that profess self-help or magical formulas for success. His guidance leans entirely on the very essential things we commonly take for granted or that seem to be just common sense, but which set us on the correct path – a path of learning, yes, but also a path of humility and hard work that can only bring a remarkable future.

All in all, Just Show Up is an excellent book for everyone, but I’d say it can be an even more delightful read for teenagers or young adults who may feel like their life is doomed to be an endless paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. However, there is more to life, and the author’s history and his invitation for a chat in this short, easy-to-read book make it feel like it’s either dad or grandpa who’s talking to you, helping you find a good tread to grab and hold onto.


What is the key to accomplishing personal and professional goals? For author and public speaker Francis Castelli, the key is to ‘show up and do something.’ Castelli published his memoir, Just Show Up: Antidote to Corporate Kool Aid (Palmetto Publishing; 2020), in which he shares not only his life story but also his views on life and success and keys to meaningful relationships and professional success.

Listen to Francis Castelli as he talks about his views on life and success on America Tonight with Kate Delaney.

The book Just Show Up is more than just a memoir and motivational guide rolled into one entertaining and impactful book. And the book title is more than just brilliant; it is a clarion call to professional and personal growth. The book encourages the readers, regardless of their educational and occupational background, to pursue their goals with determination, proactiveness, and drive.

Castelli, who loves to share his experiences, had the opportunity to appear on America Tonight with Kate Delaney.

What “Just Show Up” is all about

As expected when any author appears on her program, Kate Delaney asked Castelli about the story behind his book’s title. She asked his guest, “What do you mean by ‘just show up’?”

Castelli’s answer stems from the realization that interacting with people and listening to them share their stories is important. It also demonstrates the wealth of experience that he gained from working in the insurance industry.

“I had the privilege and was in the insurance industry for over 40 years,” said Castelli. “But I really think everything started from the day I put my feet on a college campus. I realized very, very, very quickly that people want to share their experiences and were willing to sit down and talk about themselves and share their dreams and their motivations. Basically, that builds their self-esteem.”

His many interactions with people led him to realize obvious but often overlooked facts about life.

“In doing that and being in the insurance industry where you really have to develop relationships of trust and confidence, I had the opportunity to interact with many, many, many people. In doing that, I found out that life is not complex. It’s pretty simple. Yet although it’s simple, it’s hard to act out what you want to do. Do people really dream or do they just talk about it? Do they really know what they want to be or do they try just doing what they think they should do?”

Castelli also referred to his Jesuit education (he earned his BSBA from John Carroll University) and emphasized proactiveness and determination in achieving one’s life goals.  

“So, I learned these lessons in college. It was a Jesuit school. It was a Socratic way of teaching; you’re always asked a question and you had to figure out the answer yourself. So, as I got into the industry, I could say I had the privilege of talking, interacting, and sharing experiences with a lot of people. I realized that the key to success was literally ‘show up and do something.’

“However, how you do it is important. It’s very important. When people realize that they have the ability to determine what they will become by showing up and doing things as best as they can, then it’s very, very rewarding not only for me learning their experiences but for them. You need to interact with them and say, ‘You have in your power the tools to fashion your own destiny.’”

What is the ‘antidote’?

Delaney took notice of the book’s subtitle ‘Antidote to Corporate Kool Aid’ and asked what this ‘antidote’ is.

For Castelli, the antidote is the key or keys to achieving success. “The antidote is (to) know what you want to be and understand that is in your control. Never, never, never give up. Always try, try, try and try to do with a purpose.

“I don’t believe in coincidences. I also don’t believe in fate. I do believe in destiny. Because we have free will, I believe each and every person has within them the power to fashion their own destiny. Destiny is a matter of choice. It’s not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice.

“On this ‘Antidote to Corporate Kool Aid,’ people would tell you, ‘You need to do this, you need to be this, you can become this.’ In my opinion, that’s not what’s important. It’s ‘I am the artist, I am the sculpture, I am the clay. What am I making of myself?’”

Castelli emphasized the importance of choice as a motivator to success as choice reveals one’s values and as well as their aspirations in life. He also added that a choice can either be good or bad and every choice has its own consequences.

Purchase Francis Castelli’s book “Just Show Up: Antidote to Corporate Kool Aid” today on Amazon.

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